Need Towing Input

Hello, I'm going to admit, I'm a newbe at tthis camping thing. You know the male ego thing know it all but know nothing.. My wife and I are really considering buying a TT actually a toy hauler for the toys Motorcycles and 4 wheelers..I need some advise, I have a 03 1500 chevy ext cab, with towing package ok ..The trailor we are looking at is Keystone Outback kargaroo 28krs. The truck has the 5.3 V8, The trailor is 6950 lbs..I have talked with a couple of different dealers and they say I shouldn't have any trouble with towing it but you know how some just want to make a deal when you are out of town, and they know you will be out of their hair while their wavying by.. I am used to pulling a trailor because I work at a Power Co., so i'm cool with that part of it..I'm just wondering if i got enough truck. I know i'm not going to break any land records, but I'm wondering if it is enough to handle trailor, toy('s), and 3or4 people in the truck..

Sorry for rambling on but you know the worries, fears and scear's..

I know about the towing weight, vehicle weight, and combined weight..

Really can't aford both trailor and truck right now, just need some input to get rid of the butterfly's.

Thanks for your input..
Re: Need Towing Input

I think you would max your truck to the limit. The empty weight is right at 7,000lb. THEN you are going to put ATV's/ Motorcycles, food, clothes, water, etc. into the trailEr. You need a bigger truck than a 1/2 ton with a small V-8. It is not just pulling it, it is TOWING it safely. Remember, you need to stop also.
Re: Need Towing Input

Thanks GTS..
I'm sorry I was wrong on the trailor weight it is 5960lbs empty..By chance does any body know what the weight is on my truck just off the top of their head..All i can find is the gvwr of 6400lbs..truck is 03 1500 chevy ext cab. 4x4..With a GCWR of 13000lbs..Now back to the first posting.. Will i have enough truck or would it still be to the point of needing a bigger truck..


DL Rupper

Senior Member
RE: Need Towing Input

Hey Sticwlkr, I doubt if your toys are light weight. I wouldn't do it. How far do you intend to travel each trip? It's one thing to occassionally overload your truck for a short haul, but it's something else entirely if you plan to travel long distance at freeway speeds while overloaded. When you add the weight of your toys and all your camping equipment, water, propane and extra fuel for the toys, coupled with 3 or 4 people, you will be overloaded. Remember as GTS said. You do have to stop and it isn't easy to stop a heavy load. Besides your smaller springs, shocks, and drive train, your brakes are not as large or as adequate as on a 3/4 or 1ton pick-up.


Senior Member
Re: Need Towing Input

Your best bet is to take your truck to a scale, loaded (including passangers) for travel, and find out what the weight really is. 1/4 tons tend to not have a lot of CCC, so I'll bet that if the GVWR is 6400 pounds, that the empty weight of the truck is probably at least 5400 pounds

1/2 ton pickups claim to be able to pull 7000 pounds, but that is misleading. For one thing, if you read the fine print, it likely will say that is a base truck (no options, no cargo, no passengers). Just a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas. For another thing, it does not mean it will maintain highway speeds (particularly up hills). And lastly, towing right at the limit is not recommended even if it is 'allowed'.

I started with a 1/4 ton Chevy with 350 V8. It had trouble getting a 5500 pound empty fifth wheel home, despite the dealers assurance that it could handle the trailer. So I went with a 2500HD with 6.8L engine. The truck was rock steady (should be, since it is nearly a 1 ton), but even that 6.8L engine struggled getting the trailer loaded (less than 7000 pounds) up any incline.

For safety and the most pleasant tow with anything heavier than a pop-up, you will want more than a 1/2 ton tow vehicle, and if practical, a diesel engine.
Re: Need Towing Input

Thanks for the input, as far the trips would be short trips for now..Ok here is another question. If we buy the camper, now and hold off on the hauling the toys do you think the truck will handle it. If so it would give us a chance to maybe trade vehicles later on?

The truck as i mentioned is loaded, I knew i should have brought the 2500, and seddle fer less options in order to have more umph ..
Re: Need Towing Input

The quickest way to get an idea of the weight of the truck is to look on your registration from DMV. Virginia prints it on our cards, I would guess other states do also. Not always accurate, but close.


Senior Member
Re: Need Towing Input

Grandview, what weight do they put on the reg? It would seem the only one they would have access to would be the GVWR, which is also stamped on the driver's door jamb. I suppose the MVD might be able to obtain the empty weight from the mfg, but that doesn't help much unless the user knows the weight and distribution of everything he has added.

What is needed in a towing situation is the actual loaded weight (total, front axel and rear axel) and the best way to get that is with a visit to a scale.
Re: Need Towing Input

Where our DMV gets their information is the Certificate of Orgin of the vehicle when it is new. The manufactures of all vehicles put the empty weight on the "CO" when it is printed. VA then puts it on the title and license registration card that you are supposed to have at all times.

I know some states don't do this. When we trade in an out of state vehicle, and the EW is not there, we have to take it to scales and present a weight ticket. They won't take the UVW lable out of the trailer. :angry: